Children of Time
AN: This is going to be a series of stories set within episodes during the Fourth season of Doctor Who, with Donna as the Tenth Doctor's companion. For the sake of this chapter's plot actually even happening, it occurs earlier than in the original fanfiction. Chapter is Donna-centric out of necessity.
Episode One – Turn Left
Donna Noble, in the cramped yet comfortable – well, some would call it too comfortable – housing in number twenty-nine, was watching the TV with the rest of them. News. Nothing special. The others were in there with her, Gramps, Mum, the Colasanto family and the rest of them. All of everyone who could fit in, really – TV time was something normal, that was different from everyday life.
For the past few years, things had only gotten worse and worse, starting with the Christmas star and then countless other almost unbelievable happenings. They said that America was going to help Britain by sending over fifty billion pounds in financial aid. But the way things were going, some people wondered if money would be enough.
The TV was on, and the reporter was still droning on as usual.
". . . And in other news, British teen detective Saguru Hakuba, aged only seventeen and son of the chief Commissioner for the Tokyo area, has been reported dead. It was confirmed early this morning by the leader of the Task Force the boy was working with at the time, Inspector Ginzo Nakamori. However, despite claims that he was not involved directly, rumours abound that the supposedly pacifist phantom thief known commonly as the 'Kaitou Kid' was involved'. Refuting this, however, are reports that the thief himself has been offering to make a deal with the police in order to bring the real criminals to justice. More on this story later, and..."
"Sometimes I wonder what the world's coming to, Donna my girl," Gramps was saying. "That was just a boy. A boy was killed, just like that. And it's just 'other news."
"Frankly," and that was Mum, "I find it amazing enough that it got on the news at all. There're so many big things going on nowadays..."
Not long after that, the TV was turned back off. It was almost time for dinner.
Not long after that, the woman, the blonde woman, appeared again. Right along with the smoke coming out of the cars and the soldier wanting to see her back, aiming a gun at her in order to do so. And the woman. . .
"It's the ATMOS devices. You're lucky, it's not so bad here, Britain hasn't got much petrol. But all over Europe. South Africa. China. It was bad enough for Japan before, because of that mafia that got stirred up to boiling point – you wouldn't know, but it's practically a dictatorship over there anyway, now. Anyone who rebels is either dead or underground. Not that there's any use now, of course – they're all getting choked by the gas."
The things she talked of. . . the people, the things she knew. She always appeared when something strange was happening, something that would have been unbelievable if it wasn't a catastrophe, if it wasn't a disaster like all of the disasters they'd been getting recently.
The nameless blonde woman, who wouldn't tell Donna her name, and always wore the same clothes.
"None of this was meant to happen. There was a man. This wonderful man. And he stopped them. The Titanic, the Adipose, the ATMOS, he stopped them all from happening. Even something as small as that kid in Japan that was on the news. Even that – he was even there for that."
Something as small as that.
"Just someone. Please. Not the whole town... just someone."
Her own voice. But she'd never said that, had no memory of any time when she could have said it, or had the opportunity to.
"He was never supposed to get shot in the first place. Ever."
This time, a voice she didn't even recognise, and she felt like she shouldn't even be able to understand a word they were saying. . . but she did, somehow.
The fragments faded away, letting her forget, and left her only with a sense of something lost, and something that should – or could – have happened. In time, even that feeling grew weaker, until there was only a sense of something wrong in the world left behind.
She shook her head. Nonsense.
"He was a Time Lord. The last of his kind."
She's back with her, the blond woman, and they're showing Donna brilliant, wonderful and impossible things. Amazing, and so, so terrifying. And there's talk of this man, the Doctor and –
"But you know what the thing is? He didn't have to be. There was you, you see. And you changed everything."
But Donna, the temp from Chiswick who hadn't ever done anything in her life, couldn't have changed anything like that. Someone so normal. So what made her so special? How could she have changed anything? Let alone something so big?
"He thought you were brilliant. And you know what? So do I."
AN: And that's the start. Originally, I was only going to have the companion piece (pun not intended) to 'The Stolen Earth' as the first chapter, but this screamed out to be written. A 'what if the Doctor never arrived and figured out that Saguru had a Pocket Watch?' thing.
The whole thing with the TV is probably unlikely given the scenario and how far in the episode this is. But the way Donna learned about things through the TV earlier on in the episode and the Italian family she goes to live with in Leeds were iconic for me when writing it, so the TV stayed even though I know it's probably discontinuity.
Actual episode quotations taken from various sources, inclusive of scripts for 'Turn Left' and 'The Fires of Pompeii', and I take no credit for any, only what I've added on. Also included is a line from 'The Ticking Faces of Clocks'.